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Road Trip

Hop on the Circulator to See the Sights

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

WHERE: Northwest and Southwest Washington.

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WHY: Margaritas by the river, crime and punishment, and cartoonish politicians.

HOW FAR: About four miles.

People, we must Circulate. Two years ago, the District unveiled the cherry-red D.C. Circulator bus with the aim of connecting the city's "central core." The service ferries folks to more than 100 stops along three routes: a weekend loop around the Mall; Union Station to Georgetown, including the tony streets around the Naval Observatory; and the Southwest waterfront to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

All of the routes are worth the buck fare (or $3 for an all-day pass), if only for the respite from driving yourself. With visions of summer in the air, we suggest hopping aboard the Southwest waterfront route, starting near the salty banks of the Washington Channel. The bus departs every 10 minutes, so linger for a while and sip a blueberry lemonade at a flip-flop-friendly watering hole, order oceanic eats at a decades-old seafood market or simply watch the boats float to and fro.

When your inner thermometer starts to rise, get back on the bus and hit some indoor (a.k.a. air-conditioned) attractions, including the Circulator itself.

-- Barbara J. Saffir

The D.C. Circulator's Convention Center-Southwest waterfront route runs daily,

7 a.m.-9 p.m. 202-962-1423. http://www.dccirculator.com. Fare is $1, seniors 50 cents.

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